Tag Archives: Urban Gardening

This AVR powered device makes growing veggies at home easier

Meet HUI! — the virtual garden assistant that’ll help your garden thrive with real-time environment condition updates and care instructions.

In the movement towards a more green and sustainable future, urban farming has become a growing trend in cities. However, these environments differ greatly from that of farm land tended by skilled farmers, and not everyone has the green thumb when it comes to gardening and plant care. The team at Grow&Help sought to solve this problem by creating a smart device that would alleviate the headache of maintaining healthy plants.


GROW & HELP — a company that aims to promote urban farming and sustainable agriculture projects — acknowledged the difficult task of growing plants, and created a technology to inform people on what soil and temperature, and the amount of sunshine and water that certain plants need to thrive. With HUI!, short for Intelligent Urban Garden or “Huerto Urbano Inteligente,” urban farmers can skip the grocery store and grow their own produce for a price as low as $50.

HUI! is a weatherproof, intelligent device, with a minimalist design, that’s simply placed into the soil. Its accompanying mobile app will indicate which plant(s) you are growing, and will send you daily updates and best practices for care, (maximum/minimum temperatures, daylight hours, water, etc.) and alerts if the plant needs attention. As mentioned before, urban environments differ greatly, so HUI! can also identify what plants and vegetables thrive best in your area at different seasons of the year. Ideally, the gadget would be installed in the place where you want to grow (garden, planter box, or pot), and after 24 hours, it will precisely measure the environmental parameters and inform you in real-time.


At the heart of the unit lies an ATmega328 along with a series of light, temperature and soil moisture sensors. With its Wi-Fi integration and the app’s artificial intelligence techniques, HUI! utilizes the knowledge of farmers and other users’ input, and pulls from a database of information to better serve your urban garden. The device has been developed with Natural Language Processing algorithms to be a voice-controlled assistant that answers specific questions about growing vegetables. For example, you can ask HUI! how to cultivate vegetables ideal for your environmental conditions, or for it to show you vegetables to fit your preferred dietary needs. If you start to see discoloration in your plant’s leaves, HUI! can even diagnose the problem and present solutions.

Are you ready to take on urban gardening on your balcony, terrace or even inside your home? Head over to HUI!’s Kickstarter page, where the GROW & HELP team is currently seeking $3,134. Preorders will be delivered as soon as December 2015. Single units are available, as well as bundles if you want to plant vegetables at your restaurant, office or greenhouse.